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Adaptations of South Asian Narratives Across Time and Space

The panel wants to explore how adaptations of South Asian narratives point to changes in aesthetic concepts or media hierarchies and what roles the adapted narratives and adaptations play within their respective socio-cultural contexts.

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Convenors:

· Ira Sarma Universität Leipzig (Leipzig, Germany)
· Volker Caumanns Universität Bern (Bern, Switzerland)

Long Abstract

Adaptations are significant forms of cultural expression – stories and themes have always travelled across time and space. A story, however, is not always identified as an adaptation, or the connection to a pre-existing narrative is only acknowledged in passing without addressing transformations on the narrative level or the altered socio-cultural meaning the adaptation holds. In the panel we want to explore adaptations of South Asian narratives as adaptations. How do adaptations point to changes in aesthetic concepts or media hierarchies? Do adaptors pay tribute to the adapted work or discredit it? Do they retain a classical genre or choose a modern one? Does the adaptation build upon a pre-existing work’s aura or call it into question by challenging its focus, message or its creator’s or protagonist’s reputation? Besides, we would like to address the roles the adapted narratives and adaptations play within their respective socio-cultural contexts. Adaptations indicate socio-cultural developments, fluctuations of ideologies and value systems within or across time, space and cultural context. By looking at adaptive and re-interpretative processes we learn about the needs of communities for which adaptations are created. When we trace the meandering journeys of cultural narratives we will find that cultural networks have spanned the world long before the era of ‘globalisation’. For the panel we want to open the field to new media and understand the term ‘adaptation’ in the broadest possible sense as intertextual, intercultural, intermedial and interlinguistic operations of, for example, translation, transfer, transformation, appropriation, assimilation, or intervention.

Presentations